In the long, hot Roman Summer of AD74, Marcus Didius Falco, private informer and spare-time poet, gives a reading for his family and friends. Things get out of hand as usual. The event is taken over by Aurelius Chrysippus, a wealthy Greek banker and patron to a group of struggling writers, who offers to publish Falco's work - a golden opportunity that rapidly palls. A visit to the Chrysippusscriptorium implicates him in a gruesome literary murder so when Petronius Longus, the over-worked vigiles enquiry chief, commissions him to investigate, Falco is forced to accept.
Lindsey Davis' twelfth novel wittily explores Roman publishing and banking, taking us from the jealousies of authorship and the mire of patronage, to the darker financial world, where default can have fatal consequences . . .
Praise for Lindsey Davis
'Lindsey Davis has seen off all her competitors to become the unassailable market leader in the 'crime in Ancient Rome' genre . . . Davis's squalid, vibrant Rome is as pleasurable as ever' - Guardian
'Davis's prose is a lively joy . . . sinister and gloriously real' - The Times on Sunday
'For fans of crime fiction set in the ancient world, this one is not to be missed' - Booklist
'Davis's books crackle with wit and knowledge . . . She has the happy knack of making the reader feel entirely immersed in Rome' - The Times